Archives for posts with tag: time

Yesterday my 10 y.o. unleashed a series of ‘acting out’ behaviors.  It started in the morning with a wet bed, went to grumpy and uncooperative during morning chores, and continued downhill with rebellion during schoolwork.  I kept my patience with her intact, and offered for her to accompany me to town for the afternoon on some last-minute errands.  I tried to engage her in casual conversation as we sang songs while driving, and made our stops along the way. 

After 2 hours she seemed ready to start the day over again.  When we got home, I had her help me with some dinner prep which went fine.  Once she rejoined the other family members for late afternoon chores, little miss pit-bull reappeared and the slippery slope continued.  Finally, after all of us enduring her lack of cooperation at meal-time, I sent her to bed early which meant she would miss out on Friday night family fun activities. 

As I was preparing for bed, she got up to go to the bathroom, then came and found me in the laundry room.  With tear-filled eyes she said “Mommy, I think I know what is wrong.”  “What?” I patiently replied.  “I have a broken heart” she continued, breaking down into sobs.  I held her and just breathed with her.  “What gave you a broken heart?” I asked tenderly.  “I don’t know” was her only reply.

Sad to say, she really can’t put words to why her heart is broken.  At 10, she isn’t emotionally aware enough to analyze her plight in life.  She might blame it on little brother picking a fight with her, or big sister being too bossy.  What she can’t say is that she misses her birth mom everyday, and has since she last saw her 7 years ago. This is the consequence of the sin of sex outside of marriage, birthing kids out-of-wedlock, and birth parents not properly caring for their own flesh and blood, so others have to do it for them.  In the end, it is the innocent children born into such a life that are punished for the sins of their fathers and mothers.  Only time, and a huge outpouring of unconditional love by adoptive families, and trusting in the sacrificial love of Christ, can mend that kind of broken heart.

In the meantime, I am clearing my schedule to insure she gets more ‘mom time’ each and every day through the holidays and beyond.  My hubby is out-of-town with my older daughter shopping colleges, so it is single parenting for me during the next four days.  Thankfully, snow is falling so we’ll stay home, and take life really slow.  Broken hearts need a lot of attention and time.

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Real estate is always considered an asset, even when you owe money on a loan for it.  The average home in our adjacent metropolitan area sells for $250,000.  I recently read an article that it costs about $250,000 to raise the average American kid these days.  If our kids cost us as much as our real estate, then we should treat them as assets, not  liabilities.

If you own your home, you treat it, and the contents, with respect.  When you purchase something new, you take care of it.  When things break, you fix them.  The average homeowner probably spends at least an hour a day, and one day out of the week, performing maintenance such as lawn mowing, house cleaning, minor repairs, all to keep the real estate in good condition.  Several times a year, major tasks need to be performed, or at least hired out – roof repair after storms, electrical problems, plumbing issues, deep cleaning, and tree trimming or other seasonal yard work.  If we spend the time it takes when the need arises, our asset not only stays in good shape, it increases in value.  Also, performing the work ourselves can be satisfying, and we can see the fruit of our labor over time.

The best investment in real estate is often a fixer-upper.  The adage of location, location, location is crucial when buying a dilapidated property.  If you can find just the right one, that matches your pre-set criteria, you can purchase it, invest your time and money, make necessary improvements, add your personal touches to make it special, and have a great property in the long run.  Many real estate investors flip properties – fix them quick, and sell them fast.  My husband and I have always lived for a long time in our properties, enjoying them all along the way, and relishing the results of our hard work for many years before we move on.

Kids are similar to real estate, except they are priceless and irreplaceable!   They are more than worth our daily investment of time and resources.  Our assets, our kids, will grow beyond measure if we take the time each day to:

  • engage a child individually in conversation, listening to their concerns and dreams
  • appropriately train our child, including guidance and discipline
  • give them positive eye and verbal contact
  • help them with school work and other personal obligations
  • provide for their needs – emotional, physical, and spiritual
  • make meal time and family time something to look forward to, especially at the beginning and end of each day

Seasonally, we need to invest more resources into our asset by planning:

  • Family vacations or special events where the whole family joins together, such as our week-long county fair
  • a special day, weekend, or event with one particular child, and one or both parents
  • birthday celebrations for each child when everything on that day is focused on him/her
  • Holiday traditions during Thanksgiving and Christmas which build strong bonds and memories

Our daily and seasonal efforts will surely increase the worth of our assets.  They invariably will take much of our precious time and resources.  We parents would probably rather devote our efforts to other things such as our personal pursuits or hobbies.  However, the sacrifices we make for our assets will be noticeable over time as our investment grows, and we see a return on our capital expenditure. 

Children are a blessing, and a heritage from the Lord.  Like the other talents He bestows upon us, we need to handle them wisely so the talent grows.  We need to be good stewards of our assets, for the glory of God.  Our children, especially our adopted children with their often overwhelming ‘issues’, once grown, will either be a liability to society, or an asset.  We need to do what it takes now, to ensure they are an asset, and a blessing, as they enter adulthood and start their own families.  The heritage we pass on to them of the importance of individual worth, and family as a support system, will bless many generations to come, thereby increasing our extended family’s overall assets immeasurably.

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